Two inmates have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the federal maximum-security prison in Quebec currently housing serial killer Robert Pickton.
Correctional Service of Canada did not confirm the identities of the two inmates in Port-Cartier Institution, but said in a statement on Monday (March 30) tha nine employees had tested positive for the virus prior to the inmates being diagnosed.
Pickton, who owned a pig farm in Port Coquitlam, was sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 25 years on Dec. 11, 2007, for the second-degree murders of six women between 1971 and 2001.
He was transferred to the Quebec facility in June 2018. Pickton is 70 years old.
Other high-profile killers currently serving sentences at the Port-Cartier Institution include Paul Bernardo and Luka Magnotta.
A number of advocacy groups, including the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, has called on the federal government to release non-violent offenders in order to prevent a potential spread of COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Public Safety Minister Bill Blair asked the federal prison service and the parole board to look at early release for some offenders.
The Correctional Service is working closely with the Parole Board “to examine all options with respect to the safe release of offenders into the community,” said Martine Rondeau, a spokeswoman for the prison service.
– with a file from The Canadian Press